What They Say:
Ten years prior to the events of FATE/STAY NIGHT, the War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the main sidetracking issue of Caster and his monster now taken care of, the show gets back to the Holy Grail War in earnest here as we see the conniving, manipulation and pleasantries explored with ease, as well as a few well placed deaths as well. While the defeat of the monster in the previous episode wasn’t exactly a huge celebratory moment, events here have a sense of oppression and dread to them that wasn’t evident before. Things have shifted back to uncertainty without a mainline threat to deal with and the plotting and conniving by the Masters and those like Kayneth is now what’s shifting things.
Kayneth’s dealings are interesting to begin with, but when he gets to focus on Lancer after the events that have happened, it’s hugely confrontational. While Lancer is forced to take the criticisms, it’s brutal on him in a very cutting way because of his position. And Kayneth doesn’t hold back in the slightest, especially considering the way Lancer and Saber worked together. It was for a joint purpose to be sure, but some things don’t assuage people like Kayneth so easily and his intensity is one that sets into motion its own series of events. It’s a strong showing of what the Master/Servant relationship is like as it continues to push Lancer in a direction that, while appealing on some level, is not what he wnats at the moment.
Where this episode goes is quite powerful though, in a quiet sort of way. While you would expect things to be beautifully intense as the fight between Lancer and Saber unfolds, and it is, it isn’t accompanied by swelling music or a sense of epic. It’s intense but sad as it unfolds, especially as it deals with the story playing out along side it with Kayneth being made an offer he cannot refuse when it comes to Sola by the man he detests more than anyone else. It’s a masterful bit of a maneuvering overall with what is accomplished here to take down one of the Servants, but also to go further with how it handles the entire situation with the Masters. The exploration of the relationships shared between the two sides has been an intriguing part of the series, but seeing how men like Kayneth and Emiya utilize it to their own goals, or get caught in the traps of them, is what’s truly fascinating.
Fate/Zero has yet another strong episode here as events continue to unfold and you can’t help but to be drawn in by what’s happening. The exploration of the relationships is certainly one big part of the show, but it also knows it has to deal with the action as well. And it’s intense here in a beautiful way with how Saber and Lancer go at it in parallel to the Masters doing their own sparring in a very different way. The lack of music for much of this episode is important as when it does start to filter in, it’s more important and noticeable with it. The show is one that does play for subtle moments, but it also knows when to overplay a hand. And to spend time dealing with the dialogue, exposition and more that could derail other shows. There’s certainly something magical and special about Fate/Zero.
Streamed By: Nico Nico
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.